violet mood

On August 13, 2015 by theseventhsphinx

What is it about violet?

A bit of red, a bit of blue, beautiful on all skin tones and eye colors in some shade or another, unmistakably a color in the child’s sense, non-neutral, not of the earthground. Purple was, historically, my favorite color. The color that had, from the age one can identify discrete colors to, say, 13?, no peer. A sage green snuck in on it around then, and I grew more diplomatic and embracing in my preferences, but I remember an abiding love for purple.

Can you recall a time when all something had to be was a certain color to ensure success in your eyes? For me it hardly mattered what the thing was, so long as it was some compelling shade of purple. Preferably leaning toward violet, which—perhaps I have only made it up?—is more blue. So simple!

I am still like that with some shades. Even something quite worthless or otherwise unappealing can catch my eye if it strikes a chromatic chord. All that has changed is: the nature of the shade is more precise, and there is more than one.

Here are some of the violet lip things I like, ranging from lavender to fuchsia.

IMG_9941

Revlon ColorBurst Matte Balm in Shameless, MAC lipstick in Heroine, OCC lip tar in Butch, NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Copenhagen, MAC pencil in Nightmoth, Buxom Full-On Lip Stick in Havana, ColourPop Grind pencil, Rimmel Violet Pop lipstick, Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Bauhau5, NARS Audacious Lipstick in Vera

Though there are so many species of purple, I like shades across the spectrum. I think it’s not so much about finding a shade that works for you in the broad sense of warm vs cool or pale vs dark, but a much more particular question of finding specific shades within each region. I think this goes for all colors, reds and oranges, pinks and so on. And for all wearable things, really, not only lipstick. Lipstick is a good example, though, as it is produced in such a crazy volume of often very very very similar shades, and you can establish fine distinctions in compatibility within each shade family.

It means, too, that lipstick lives on those borders between shade names. It’s a great reminder of how hazy the distinctions between colors are, and how fluid a creature color is. I think we can forget this with our shorthand color names, forget that those names are abbreviating small worlds of visible color.

IMG_9928

This ability to hone in on a precise shade is powerful because while vaguely hitting the target of a shade that is flattering to your complexion is effective, hitting the bullseye is devastating. The impact of the right color (colors, there are many) is incredible. You can look more awake, healthier, arresting, demure, sultry, chic, classic, alive in some new, different way to your usual, everyday aliveness. If you haven’t yet had this experience…I’m pretty sure you need to try on more colors.

There is the added appeal of purple being decidedly outside the realm of typical lip colors. It stands out. Whatever the shade, it reads in bold print.

Mini reviews:

Revlon ColorBurst Matte Balm in Shameless : Love this formula, this is not the best of the shades in terms of payoff but: drugstore purple! This is the truest purple of the bunch, the closest to your rainbow purple.

MAC lipstick in Heroine: Needs a lip pencil but a great, medium purple for yellow or olive skin tones. It’s bizarrely bright, and fantastic because it is so, so, so not your natural lip color. I don’t know of anything natural that is quite this color.

OCC lip tar in Butch: A pain to apply but really fun colors, and they stay put. This hovers on the border between lavender and powder blue. Good to have a few fun colors like this, I say.

NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Copenhagen: was just talking about this, these can be messy to apply as well but great colors and a great price – this shade the darkest of the lot: autumn all over.

MAC pencil in Nightmoth: MAC pencils are a little dry but this also means they don’t move around on you and make a solid base. Nightmoth is a deeply pretty pinky aubergine.

Buxom Full-On Lip Stick in Havana: I don’t love this formula, somewhat patchy and smells poorly perfumed (semi-disguised play-doh), but this color is a great dark aubergine if you stick with it. Actually I don’t at all recommend this, but I don’t dislike it enough to ditch it, quite.

ColourPop Grind pencil: quite pleased with these pencils. Decently creamy, nicely pigmented, great out-of-the-box color selection, $5. This is a great match for MAC Heroine, just a little less yellow.

Rimmel Violet Pop lipstick: an easy, bright raspberry. Keep it up, Rimmel.

Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Bauhau5: A vivid hot-house fuchsia. Lips that practically leap off your face. Fantastic long-wearing formula.

NARS Audacious Lipstick in Vera: A perfect warm aubergine. Slick and creamy formula, really lovely. As with most formulas, some colors perform better than others.

And some swatches done haphazardly on the back of my hand, taken with my phone, in a different order, with Revlon forgotten. You’re welcome!

20150812_211628

MAC Heroine, MAC Nightmoth, Buxom Havana, NYX Copenhagen, KVD Bauhau5, ColourPop Grind, Rimmel Violet Pop, NARS Vera, OCC Butch

IMG_9942

IMG_9946

sweet william, oregano, mini cala lillies

x

please me

On August 9, 2015 by theseventhsphinx

My initial lipstick acquisition phases centered around reds and oranges, then deep red wine shades, so, for someone who has a lot of lipstick, pink is relatively underrepresented. Or, it was.

We’ve done some catching up, pink and I.

One of the most recommended shades was MAC Please Me, a matte mid-tone rose pink. This is right on the border of being too pale for me, that region of the spectrum of yellow-based pink that makes me look ill/green, from which I have to go either brighter (toward neon) or darker to find a shade that doesn’t jar.

It’s surely partly a mental block of my own as well, I concede. I don’t wear pale pinks, so I always think they look off. That said, paired with a slightly darker liner (this lipstick is better with a liner, anyway, not opaque enough on its own), I can totally work with this.

mac please me lipstick

Look who put on eyeliner! That’s Bobbi Brown gel liner.

I’m willing to experiment to push the boundaries of how pale I can go before things get weird. Ideally I will at the same time shift those boundaries, expanding the realm of color open to me. [Of course the entire realm of color is open to me…but I am not open to it.]

Rimmel Exaggerate lip liner in Pure with MAC Please Me in the center, Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation (still loving) with Rouge Bunny Rouge Impalpable Finishing Powder (also really like, though I’m going back and forth between that and the Charlotte Tilbury pressed powder, with is fantastic). Chanel Cream Blush in Affinite, which you can’t exactly see but which you would notice if it weren’t there. Played about with my Lorac Pro palette, even! Eyeshadow! And the brow perfection going on is MAC Pro Longwear Brow Set in Bold Brunette, pretty emphatically not my shade, several shades darker than my real brow color, but just the thing when I want to get the brows really dark but still natural. Officially I prefer Benefit Gimme Brow in Light/Medium for going just a teeny bit darker and grooming into place.

Barry M Nail Jelly in Satsuma.

x

 

winter lips

On December 7, 2013 by theseventhsphinx

IMG_0026

I like that people seem to be more open to lipstick, and especially bold lipstick, in the winter. I support that.

Here are some of my favorites just now, in a range of fall/winter shades. [Though I would wear these colors year round. Rather I do, or will.] While I see the logic behind the seasonal shift toward a darker palette —as the environment grows dark and somber so do our clothes and the colors we find compelling and suited to the season—I see choosing bright colors as a natural reaction against this trend and a great way to be unexpected, playful. As much as I need the plums and the burgundies (and I do need them, oh yes), I also need a respite from them.

In my mind this makes complete sense.

I’ve been sporting both brights and darks, mattes and shines, with a selection of pigmented and sheer formulas.

Pigmented formulas first:

IMG_0031

L to R: Rimmel Apocalips in Big Bang, Revlon Cherries in the Snow, NARS Funny Face, Lancome Rouge in Love Fiery Attitude (wearing here), MAC Dubonnet (wearing here), Albeit Vermillion, Rimmel Kate Moss Kiss of Life, MAC RiRiWoo, Tom Ford Narcotic Rouge (wearing here)

While I love orange in the summer, I think fuschia makes a great bright lip for winter, from the floral pop of Revlon’s Cherries in the Snow to the rich bordeaux of Lancôme’s Fiery Attitude (again, for the record, I love this formula).

The internet is full of blogs dedicated to swatching, which is my way of telling you that I am not going to do it because I don’t want to (so I would never do a truly good job, you see? It’s better this way). For now, trust that these reds are all completely different. I would also include MAC’s Brave Red here, only not pictured because mine melted a little, and Revlon’s Black Cherry, not pictured because I can’t find it. Now that I can’t find it I really, really want to wear it. Right now.

Pleased to find that the Albeit lipstick I picked up in the Anthropologie holiday sale is lovely. Creamy, beautifully pigmented, Vitamin E, cool vintage gold bullet, etc (wearing here). And RiRiWoo, though I was suspicious of the hype, is awesome. Awesome, people. The reigning red of the moment (wearing here).

On to the sheers:

IMG_0034

clockwise from top left: Revlon Balmstain in Crush, Lipstick Queen Saint in Berry (wearing here), Revlon lip butter in Fig Jam, Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Esprit, Almay Liquid Lip Balm in Candy Apple

Sheer formulas are what I tend to carry around in my bag,  beloved for their quick and easy application and general compatibility with a slapdash approach. I like all of these formulas but especially the Lipstick Queen Saint lipstick* and the Chanel Rouge Coco Shine. So smooth, such a uniform slick of color, such pleasant texture. If you want to give someone the gift of lipstick, I suggest you give them Lipstick Queen in Jean Queen or a Chanel Rouge Coco Shine. These formulas are that rare combination of stunning and friendly.

Or you could get them RiRiWoo, if it hasn’t sold out again already.

*A cool concept. There are two lines: Saint, with 10% pigment, and Sinner, with 90% pigment.

I like the Almay liquid lip balm, too, which is kind of a cross between an ointment and a gloss. Some of the other colors in the range look horrid but this one is natural and nice, sheer but with a distinct tint.

OK. Go forth and brighten thy lips.

a few favorite summer lip colors, vol. ii: orange

On June 21, 2013 by theseventhsphinx

Orange lips are often considered difficult or unfriendly (even more so than red lips I would say) but I love them, and have amassed a number of options in my search for an orange–or an orange-coral, or an orange-red–that would be great on me. Orange lips have the bold effect that red lips have but are even more uncommon, I think, making them still more arresting and interesting. And they are even brighter. Yeah they can make your teeth look darker or more yellow…but teeth shouldn’t look too white, anyway. It’s creepy. My teeth are a nice normal color and this aspect doesn’t bother me at all.

IMG_4868

IMG_4864

Kate Moss Rimmel lipstick in 12, Lancome Rouge in Love lipstick in 146 Miss Coquelicot, Revlon lipstick in Siren, Wet ‘n Wild MegaLast lipstick in Purty Persimmon, Tom Ford lipstick in Wild Ginger

While I do like coral in the pink-peach sense, I find that abstractly (without any outfit or look in mind) I easily prefer all of the more orange-based colors here to those in the previous post. My favorite reds tend to be orange-toned reds, too. Ditto blushes. I just gravitate toward orange when it comes to colors under consideration for the face.

These all look great with the colors I like to wear best: cream, olive, khaki, camel, white, navy, all types of brown…

The favorites of the favorites here are

1) the Lancome Rouge in Love in Miss Coquelicot, the texture of which is super smooth and more sheer than the rest here, the color of which is a divine orange-based coral,

2) the Revlon lipstick in Siren, one of their retro shades that has been available, on and off, since the 50s, which might be my favorite true orange that is still very flattering and wearable, and of course

3) the Tom Ford Wild Ginger (for $2 the Wet ‘n Wild isn’t a bad budget pseudo-dupe of this), the texture and color of which are gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous. I would say this tips over into red-orange rather than orange-red but the appeal is the same, and the bright, shouty, tomato-lip effect is the same.

Lipsticks notably absent here but on my wishlist are NARS heatwave and MAC Lady Danger. It is only a matter of time.

It’s difficult to be truly in control of a bold lip, and it’s helpful to develop a kind of zen attitude about it. Accept that it will require either maintenance or insouciance, or maybe a bit of both. The first rule of lipstick is: lipstick cannot be trusted. I say it is best to try not to worry about things too much and simply go for it.

I was inspired in college by a friend who would wear red lipstick all the time and just flagrantly leave red lip prints on every glass, and not care if it got on her teeth. I, at the time, rarely wore it, and would carefully wipe the rim of the glass off if I did. [I have these prudish instincts paired oddly with bold tastes.] Yes it can get on your teeth and your clothes and other people, yes things can go awry, but isn’t it worth it, in the end? Isn’t that why we’re all here, reading about lipstick, because we want the option anyway? Because we see these vibrant colors, with all their inconveniences, and think, yes: that is the color for me.

And that!

And ooOOOoo. Also that.

You can see my coral picks in vol. i, here.

x

a few favorite summer lip colors, vol. i: coral

On June 21, 2013 by theseventhsphinx

In the name of summer, I made a mess on my arm for you.

Coral, whether of the orange or the pink subspecies, is a quintessential summer shade that looks good on so many skin tones. Just like there is a red for everyone, there is a coral for everyone (in contrast, there doesn’t necessarily seem to be an orange for everyone – or perhaps orange is more polarizing, and people are less open to finding that perfect orange). It can look quite natural sheered out. Then, too, with good opacity it can look awesomely unnatural.

It also goes so well with what are for me the other quintessential summer colors; white, gold, turquoise, cream…

The line between coral and red-orange/orange-red (which will be next) is blurred, so this selection is slightly arbitrary.

IMG_4861

IMG_4855

Kate Moss Matte Rimmel lipstick in 110, Korres Mango Butter lipstick in Coral (sheer), Maybelline Color Sensational lipstick in Coral Crush, Maybelline Color Sensational Vivid lipstick in Shocking Coral.

These are showing a tiny bit too orange…better to look at a variety of swatches and sort of deduce the color. […best to see it in person] I have no ambition to be a great swatcher (so many blogs do it better than I ever will, with my attitude) but I often find comparisons like this useful.

The Korres Mango Butter lipstick is maybe my favorite here. It is sheer, similar to all of the tinted balm-type options every brand has come out with now, but smoother and more moisturizing than any of the other versions I’ve tried.

The Kate Moss lipsticks are such great value, and the pigmentation, particularly in the matte line, is solid.

x

Pages:12»